Dunfermline 3 Ayr Utd 2
By AU Media
United suffered their second straight Championship defeat in a 3-2 loss to Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday. Greg Kiltie opened the scoring for the Pars, but his effort was cancelled out by an own goal from Lee Ashcroft. Alan Forrest briefly gave Ayr the lead in the second half before Ashcroft equalised and a late winner from Andy Ryan sealed the deal for the hosts at East End Park.
The game started at a slow, controlled pace where, for the opening 25 mins, both sides defended well and didn’t allow the other to create significant chances.
On 28 mins, Dunfermline were first to find the back of the net. Ryan Dow picked up a deflection at the right edge of the penalty area and good build-up play with Paul Paton freed Greg Kiltie to cut into the box. Kiltie flicked the ball onto Kevin Nisbet who returned the ball with a backheel allowing Kiltie to move in on goal. Ross Doohan came off his line, but Kiltie dragged the ball around him and with only Andy Geggan left on the line to defend, the Dunfermline man hit the ball into the net from close range.
Only 2 mins later, Dunfermline almost made it two. Kiltie sent a ball through to Nisbet who fired an attempt on goal from 15 yards, but Doohan did well to block the effort and turn it over the bar.
After the brief uproar, the match settled back into a slower rhythm. Ayr struggled to get anything past the deep Dunfermline defence, but on 43 mins, an equaliser came United’s way.
Stephen Kelly won the ball in midfield and a one-two between him and Forrest got the ball to Mark Kerr who, under pressure from Paton, passed it on to Ross Docherty. The United captain played the ball forward into space on the right where Andy Geggan came racing in to deliver a tight-angled cross into the box which got through to Daniel Harvie at the back post. Aaron Comrie slid in to take the ball off Harvie and it lifted into the air to Forrest who sent a header from close range at the goal. Dunfermline keeper Cammy Gill looked to have pulled off a miraculous save at full stretch, but the rebound hit off Lee Ashcroft and straight into the net and it was 1-1 at half time.
Ayr had a more spirited start to the second half and looked more threatening going forward, creating multiple chances in the opening mins.
With 57 mins on the clock, the Honest Men found the lead. Geggan broke up a Dunfermline attack and lifted the ball into midfield for Kelly who played it forward to Moffat. Forrest got himself into space on the left and received the ball from Moffat who was under pressure from three defenders. The winger cut in past Comrie and made short work of from edge of the box with a splendid curling strike into the top right-hand corner.
Dunfermline reacted well and got their equaliser on 62 mins. A Paton free kick from just inside the Ayr half was initially cleared by United but fell to Dow. Dow headed the ball back and it was met by Ashcroft who slammed a spectacular volley past Doohan and into the net from just outside the box
It was game on at East End Park as both sides pressed for a winner in what had turned into an end to end encounter.
Dunfermline went close on 68 mins when Paton took a free kick quickly and got it through to substitute Andy Ryan on the right. Doohan came out to collect, but Ryan played around him for a tight-angled shot at the goal. The ball rolled on and looked goal-bound, but Sam Roscoe slid in at the right post to clear.
Ayr almost got the lead back on 80 mins when Kelly got on the end of a clearance at 20 yards and smashed a shot through the Dunfermline defence, but Gill went down to block with his fingertips.
In the 84th min, the Pars scored what turned out to be a match deciding goal. Ayr failed to clear, and Dow beat Harvie and Docherty to the ball in midfield then flicked on to Kiltie. Kiltie played the ball forward through the Ayr defence into the right side of the box for Ryan. He controlled the ball at the edge of the penalty area and slid it under Doohan to give the hosts the lead.
On 88 mins, United got a good late chance to rescue a point when Kelly took a short corner on the left. Good interplay between Kelly and Forrest set midfielder Kelly up for a powerful drive at the goal from the edge of the penalty area. His effort looked bound to level the game, but Gill pulled off a another superb save and the final whistle sealed a 3-2 win for Dunfermline.
Gill, Comrie, Martin, Ashcroft, Edwards, Dow, Turner, Paton, Kiltie, Nisbet, Cochrane
Subs: Scully, Beadling, McGill, Ryan, Devine, Morrison, Coley
Doohan, Geggan, Muirhead, Roscoe, Harvie, Docherty, Kerr, Kelly, McCowan, Moffat, Forrest
Subs: Doolan, Moore, McGuffie, Houston, Hare-Reid, Ecrepont, McKenzie